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Old 04-02-2007, 07:05 PM   #136
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The pineaplle float has my mouth watering, I am definitley going to try that next time. Great idea to put the pins on the purse.
Can't wait to read about Kennedy Space center.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:24 PM   #137
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If you are going to put your pins on your purse, please get the locking pin backs or you could lose your pins.

I'm really LOVING your trip report. Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:11 PM   #138
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I can't wait to read more.

My cousin just came back from a trip to Australia and she loved it. She siad she went to an ice bar where is was like 10 below and everything was ice except the floor. She told me that they even served your drink in a cup made of ice! Have you been there??

She loved it so much there she applied for grad school there as soon as she got home from an 11 day trip with her sister.

I would love to visit one day in the near future.
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Old 04-03-2007, 01:18 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by missmun52 View Post
I can't wait to read more.

My cousin just came back from a trip to Australia and she loved it. She siad she went to an ice bar where is was like 10 below and everything was ice except the floor. She told me that they even served your drink in a cup made of ice! Have you been there??

She loved it so much there she applied for grad school there as soon as she got home from an 11 day trip with her sister.

I would love to visit one day in the near future.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:44 AM   #140
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More great reports. We've booked to go to Kennedy too for DS but I wasn't planning on a middle of the night start! Looking forward to hearing how you got on.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:00 AM   #141
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Hi everybody!!

It's 2am here, and I'm still up! Don't you just love holidays!? I love staying up late and sleeping in!

Ricky's Girl... Thanks for your lovely post! And yep, I definitely agree that DebIreland's trippie is wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the food photos... and it's nice to hear that we're not the only ones to sleep in seperate beds at Pop!!

punkin413... I hope you have more fun at Kennedy Space Center than we did!! Things just didn't go to plan on our day there... But I'll write more about that in my next chapter!

crossbonz... Thanks for stopping by! Glad you're enjoying my trip report!

Marion... So many questions, so little time! Hee! We used a tour company called Gator Tours. They picked us up from Pop, and dropped us off at Kennedy Space Center, along with a full bus load of people. So no, they didn't actually give us a guided tour of the centre. I'll write about this more in detail in my next chapter, but I definitely wouldn't recommend Gator Tours! Bad, bad, bad! Mostly just a bad bus and a bad driver, but then... that was their whole service, so what else is there!? At least we didn't crash!!


KathyRN137... I won't be a stranger! I'm here, I'm here!!

disneyaddicted... Hi! You should definitely try a pineapple float! Yum!! Especially if you like pineapple, of course! I wish I had one right now!

Angelrose... Oooh, I didn't buy the locking back pin thingy! But my pins are still safe and secure on my bag! I was always checking them though, to make sure none had fallen off...

missmum52... Wow, I've never heard of the ice bar in Australia before! Do you know which city it was in? I have heard of ice bars in Canada and other cold places, but not in Australia! Sounds fun though!! Nice to hear your cousin loved her time in Australia!

MAGICFOR2... Um, hi!! I'm guessing you don't like the sound of the ice bar! You'd definitely have to pack your coat, that's for sure!! Hee!

Lisaj... Count yourself lucky that you don't have such an early start when you head to Kennedy Space Center!! It really was far too early!! Hope you have a great time though!!

I'll have the next chapter up tomorrow, guys! For now, I'm off to bed! Sweet dreams!!
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #142
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Chapter 8… Kennedy Space Center!

Warning!!
The following chapter contains various disturbing scenes involving me, AussieAngel, being very grumpy. You know you just have those days where things don’t go right from the start, and then you just can’t get back on track? This was that day for me. I look back at this day and feel horrible and guilty, and I wish I could go back and change things, but I can’t. Boooo! So anyway, consider yourself warned…


Our day started at 4.40am. Whaaaaat?! Yes, that’s right – 4.40am! That’s enough to make anybody grumpy!! Sometimes after a big night out, I go to bed at 4.40am. I certainly don’t get up at 4.40am. But that morning, DF and I arose at 4.40am. Grrr. We stumbled around our little hotel room, showered, dressed, and headed to outside of the Pop lobby, where our tour bus was scheduled to pick us up at 5.10am to take us to Kennedy Space Center.

Did I mention it was still dark? Of course it was still dark. Did I also mention I’m not a morning person. Sheesh! Nobody else was up yet. So we sat out the front of the lobby area and waited for our bus. And waited. And waited. And waited.

Here’s DF waiting for the bus. In the dark.



While we were quietly waiting for the bus, I contemplated the situation. We were getting up before dawn, to drive two hours to visit the Kennedy Space Center, to see the space shuttle Atlantis launch. Okay, that’s exciting. At least, it was for DF, because it’s his secret dream to be an astronaut, or at least, to see a launch. Things like this just don’t happen in Australia! Imagine our luck that the day we had booked to go to KSC was actually launch day!! He was amazingly excited. I, on the other hand, wasn’t so excited. I would have rathered play at Disney World for an extra day. But we were in this thing together, so grizzling just a little bit, I waited for the bus to take me far, far away from Disney World.

Hmm, the ‘Gator Tours’ bus was quite late. At 5.45, it eventually arrived. 35 minutes late. No apology from the bus driver, just “Quick, get in. We’re late.” Humph. Okay. We could have had 30 minutes more sleep! Grrr! But the bus was a cute little cosy mini-bus, and we’d finally been picked up, so things were good. We were on our way to Kennedy Space Center!!

Except, we didn’t go to Kennedy Space Center. We went to the Gator Tours headquarters, where we were ordered off that cosy little bus, and told to get on a huge, old, ugly-looking coach bus. Ummm, okay. Apparently because it was a launch day, squillions of other people decided they wanted to go that day too.

That bus wasn’t so good. I won’t go into all the gory details, but basically, the air-conditioning didn’t work, the windows were dripping with condensation, and it was HOT! Also, directly above me, I later discovered, was an oil leak of some sort. Yep. Oil. Oil dripped directly onto my hair, and my arms, and my white top. Oh, joy. We moved seats, and I walked around all day with big black oil patches on my top. And also, our driver had a really, really strong Russian accent and nobody had any idea what she was saying. It wasn’t a fun two hours.

Anyhoo, we eventually arrived at Kennedy Space Center. We all pretty much ran off the bus, screaming, “AIR! Fresh air!! For the love of God, give me AIR!!” Ha, okay, we didn’t really, but I’m sure we were all thinking it. I spoke to the bus driver about my top and the oil leak, and she said, “Oh no. I’ll call the headquarters and see what they can do.” So she did. Headquarters, of course, said they could do nothing. Woohoo. The day was off to a flying start so far!

After taking 6 hours to get through security (okay, maybe not 6 hours. Maybe more like 40 minutes.), we discovered the launch was scheduled for around 11.30am. It was then around 8am, and we all had to hang out in this arrival area until the launch.

For those who don’t know, Kennedy Space Center is actually a massive area on Cape Canaveral, with lots of different sites. You arrive at this arrival centre, then take buses to the different areas of Kennedy Space Center (which are about 20 minutes apart) to see lots of different space-related stuff. You can tell I’m not a space buff, sorry! But that day, because of the launch, the only part which was open to the public was the arrival area.

We went to see an IMAX movie which took 30 minutes, then wandered around the other mini-exhibits, like this astronaut outfit…



And then, we twiddled our thumbs for 3 hours. Seriously, we’d seen everything there was to see. It was already really, really hot, and the whole place was really, really packed. I’m really, really bad at doing nothing. Especially after our action-packed Disney World days!! It was around this time that I had a cry. I couldn’t help it! It was hot, it was crowded, I had oil all over me, and we were stranded with absolutely nothing to do for 3 hours.

DF snapped into action, and we went and grabbed some breakfast, and some drinks, and sat down with the trillions of other people in front of a huge big-screen TV to watch the launch.

So we sat. And sat. And sat. And got sunburnt. We just weren’t prepared, I’m afraid! If we had have known this was what happened on launch days, we would have bought sunscreen, and books, and writing paper, and ipods, or anything to pass the time! Instead, we sat and listened to the NASA announcements which sounded a little something like this – “NASA to Houston, do you read?” “Houston to NASA, we read.” Over and over and over.

At around 10.50, people started to get a bit excited. The launch was really going to happen! Only 40 minutes left! Yay! Even I was feeling a bit better, and was starting to think it might be fun after all, to see a rocket take off in the distance. The next 7 minutes went like this…

“NASA to Houston, do you confirm?”
“Houston to NASA, we confirm.”
“NASA begining countdown, 33 minutes to go.”
“Houston following countdown. 32 minutes to go.”
“Houston, this is NASA. Atlantis is cancelled. Do you read?”
“NASA, this is Houston. We read. Atlantis is cancelled.”

WHaaaaaaaaaaat did they just say!?!! Did they seriously just say cancelled!? Whaaaaaaat!?

As I sat in utter disbelief, people around us stood up straight away without blinking an eyelid, packed up their chairs, gathered all their belongings, and left. Are they seriously saying that after getting up at 4.40am, driving in a hot, sticky, oil-dripping bus, then sitting here in the scorching sun for 3 hours, they cancelled the shuttle?! Yep, they surely did!!

Apparently this happens all the time. Heee. Apparently, I’m a fool, because I didn’t know this. Atlantis had already been cancelled and postponed 3 times before this. Hence the reason nobody around us was shocked. Not even DF was shocked. Instead of being mad, I got the giggles. I couldn’t stop laughing at our amazing bad luck that we’d had all day. I think I was a bit delirious, or sun-stroke, or both!

Since the launch had been cancelled though, this meant the rest of Kennedy Space Center was open to explore. So we jumped on a bus (after waiting about 45 minutes in a gigantic line), and visited the Apollo / Saturn center, where we saw… some big rockets. DF LOVED it, and I was just happy to be moving and seeing new things, but I really have no idea what I saw. Sorry!

We also got to see the Atlantis shuttle on the launch pad, from a long long way away. DF was so excited he got to see it! Here it is…



It was then around 1.30, and we had to be back at our tour bus by 2.30, so we sadly headed back to the arrival section of KSC, and grudgingly hopped on our steamy, hot bus. Avoiding the oil leak at all costs, of course.

It really was a huge disappointment at Kennedy Space Center. Not only did we miss out on seeing the launch, but we missed out on exploring the majority of Kennedy Space Center! I felt really sad for DF, because I’d been such a grump in the morning, and also because he was so looking forward to this day, and he really didn’t get to see much at all. Poor DF. When we decided we were going to the United States, one of the first things he said he wanted to do was go to Kennedy Space Center. And it was such a dud day! I still feel really sad for him when I think about it.

If we went on a normal, non-launch day, I’m sure we would have enjoyed our trip much more. It would have been cool to see some of the other exhibits and have some more time to explore different areas. We’ll definitely go back there next time we head to Disney World, and do it again properly! We’d hire a car and drive there ourselves, and spend as long as we wanted there for the day. I definitely wouldn’t recommend Gator Tour Company, that’s for sure!

That being said, we did buy some cool things in the gift shop. DF bought lots of gifts for his family, and we each bought some freeze-dried astronaut ice-cream. Hee. To make up for my bad behaviour that morning, I bought DF an astronaut pen which writes upside down – you know, like on Seinfeld! He loved it – so much so that for the rest of our trip, he carried it in his hand luggage on the plane, just in case our luggage got lost. Except every time we went through security, they pulled him to the side and searched through his hand luggage. We finally realised why… Because the astronaut pen is pressurized, just like a bomb is pressurized! Yowza!!

Anywayyyy, after a long, exhausting day, we finally arrived back at Pop, and went straight to bed. Even though it was only 4.30. Heee. We slept for a good two hours, then awoke, ready for our ADR at Ohana! Truth be told, we were both still very tired and feeling a bit cranky, and we were very, very close to calling and canceling our ADR.

But we didn’t! We soldiered on, and caught a bus to Magic Kingdom, then jumped on another bus to the Polynesian. The Polynesian was beauuuuutiful! We just fell in love with it straight away. We had a little bit of time to explore before our ADR time, and we couldn’t stop walking around saying, “This is sooo pretty! I wish we were staying here!” It’s all so tropical and relaxing and inviting! It was just what we needed after a crazy, stressful day!

Our ADR at Ohana was for 8.45 – I’d made it late on purpose, since we originally weren’t meant to be getting back from KSC until much later. So eventually it was time to check in, and we were seated straight away! Just like the rest of the Polynesian, we adored Ohana! Our server was so friendly and relaxed, and made us feel right at home! There was limbo dancing happening for the kids, we had a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom castle, and the whole place had such a fun, relaxed vibe to it. Immediately our worries from the day seem to wash away!

Dinner was fabulous – we felt like a king and queen being waited on, and being served a huge feast. We got the giggles when all the food was laid out in front of us – surely we can’t be expected to eat all of that!? Heee! Here we are, with our feast fit for 26 hungry men…



We thoroughly enjoyed all the food – my favourites were the wontons with the peanut sauce, the chicken wings, and the turkey. And I don’t normally like turkey!! DF loved the shrimp, the steak and the potatoes. And don’t even get me started on that banana pudding for dessert! YUM!! It turned out to be one of our favourite meals of our whole trip – so glad we didn’t cancel it!

After filling up our bellies and feeling much, much more happy and relaxed, we headed back to Pop. We decided to splurge and catch a taxi instead of the buses, because it was already around 10pm, and we were sleepy! It only took about 15 minutes in the taxi, and once we arrived back at Pop, we fell straight into (our separate) beds and fell fast asleep!

I think that night at the Poly was really the first time we felt Disney magic! Everything had gone so wrong that day, and everything that night at the Poly just went so right! Great food, great people, great service, great view, great vibe… everything was great! It had totally turned our moods around, and we were happy and ready to face our next day, at EPCOT! Yay!

And don’t worry, there are no more cranky tears from me!!

Up next... Our big day at EPCOT!!
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My 2006 trip report - Two Aussie First-Timers in Disney!
My 2009 dining report - Our delicious Disney deluxe dining adventures!
My 2009 trip report - Laughter, Tears & Screams - Two Aussies in Disney World!
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:43 PM   #143
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I LOVE this trip report. I've been reading since the start, but for some reason I can't recall if you're engaged yet at this point in the trip? Have I missed the proposal???
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:48 PM   #144
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AussieAngel:

You may or may not be aware that the Year of A Million Dreams sweepstakes, while open to residents of the UK, is not open to residents of Australia. Why this is, I have no idea.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:32 PM   #145
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Hi AussieAngel - just catching up on your trip report. In 2002 I went to KSC and I would recommend if you are able to go back, hire a car and drive down yourself. That's what I did, and I was able to see everything - and I loved it, by the way! It was one of my ambitions to see it too!!

Glad that your day finished up much better, though. I am on holidays, too, but I have to go back to work next Wednesday - but in the last 2 weeks I have been researching for this trip - can you sometimes get too much information???

Looking forward to the rest of your trip - and your photos - they are great!

Enjoy your holidays - every teacher deserves them!!!

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Old 04-04-2007, 12:25 AM   #146
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[MAGICFOR2... Um, hi!! I'm guessing you don't like the sound of the ice bar! You'd definitely have to pack your coat, that's for sure!! Hee! ]

Even though I'm from Minnesota originally - have Scandanavian blood - still don't like to be cold - the scene from Titanic in the water, everyone freezing to death- TERRIFYING!!! HA! I keep trying to tell my DH that I am in the wrong body - I was supposed to be born in Florida!

Thanks AussieAngel for this great TR! I'm sorry your KSC day was a bummer! Your DF must be a real sweetheart like my DH - he takes all my craziness in stride! Can't wait to hear about EPCOT!

Last edited by MAGICFOR2; 04-04-2007 at 12:37 AM. Reason: I'm never done talking :)
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:20 AM   #147
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Really enjoying your TR, you seemd to have such bad luck for your day at Kennedy. I almost would have drawn the line at getting up at 4.40am, unless it was for Disney or my wedding day
So sorry to hear that the launch was cancelled. My DF and I considered going to Kennedy but I decided against it, I hear that it doesn't have enough to fill an entire day, and my DF really wanted to see a launch, but I heard that these things get cancelled all the time. The ticket price is quite expensive for a half day thing and unless you're really interested in that sort of stuff, well I'd rather spend the day at WDW, my opinion DF is happier with the arrangements I've made, or so I think Hey he's getting married at Disney, what more could he want??
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:36 AM   #148
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Awww... I'm so sorry your KSC day wasn't that great I have a day there planned in the middle of our holiday but it's NOT a launch day. Gator Tours was the company I've been referred to the most but their website has been down for almost 2 months Doesn't inspire confidence right there! You can get to the tours via other links but not the actual site. I found another Orlando company that picks up at either the Swan or ASMusic... think I'll go with them.

I would have been majorly ticked off about the oil leak and the lack of a/c! Did you write them a letter afterwards?

Dinner looked VERY yummy
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:21 AM   #149
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Oh I really feel for you! I've had those days when nothing is going right! Im sure your DF cheered you up (surely the day was better than being at work?!) If it makes you feel any better, our KSC was also with Gator tours and the journey took ages! We only had 4 hours to explore the entire KSC and we didnt even make the bus tour after security taking nearly 40 minutes. We just stayed in the main area where the imax theatres are!

Can't wait to hear about Epcot tomorrow
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:11 AM   #150
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After reading this, I'm so glad my boyfriend has very little interest in space.. so we don't have to go to KSC! I feel so bad for you though, it really sounds like an awful day... I'm glad the dinner was great, it kind of turned the day into a happy day!
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